My feet are soaking in the refreshing waters of McCauley Warm Springs. There are some strange-looking black things over my toes and surrounding my feet in the water. Those are tiny little minnows that were swarming in the pools at the spring. Not only did the water sooth my tired hiking feet, but I also got tickling massages as the curious fish nibbled my toes!
There’s been nothing fishy about the spectacular weather that has accompanied us this week on our outings. Some might complain that the temperatures are too hot, but Monday and today our hikes were in the mountains, where it’s at least 10 degrees cooler than Albuquerque. And yesterday we rode the Rail Runner Express up to Santa Fe, which also is cooler than Albuquerque.
Monday we explored the crest of the Sandia Mountains, which are immediately to the east of Albuquerque. Today we drove into the western edge of the Jemez Mountains, which are north of Albuquerque, but not as close as the Sandias.
After driving as far as the boundary of the Valles Caldera, with a stop at Soda Dam, we backtracked to the Battleship Rock Picnic Area. Beneath this towering rock formation, the East Fork Jemez River and San Antonio Creek converge to form the Jemez River. A two-mile hike up the East Fork leads to McCauley Warm Springs, which was the destination for our hike today. We had never been on this trail before and didn’t realize that it was 2 miles of continuous uphill. But the girls trudged right along and didn’t complain at all. Our efforts were rewarded when we reached the refreshing spring. And we knew that it would then be all downhill to get back to the car.